In Their Own Words

Excerpts from research interviews in Oklahoma A+ Schools:

A+ really targets multiple intelligences and leveling the playing field for everyone. Then the kids can learn and feel good about themselves. The kids often say, I didn't know I was smart, and that helps all the kids begin to value and appreciate themselves and each other. [A+] really helps create a close-knit classroom feeling. - Teacher

. . .kids come to school excited about new challenges. They know they can be successful at something and often ask, What are we learning today? -Teacher

I enrolled my daughter in this [A+] school because I heard things are different here, and I want her to like school. -Parent

Everyone is on the same page: how to teach, how to formulate lesson plans, curriculum maps, everyone working together. Theres more freedom to be creative and let the students be more creative. Teachers feel like theyre on the same team, more collegiality. -Teacher

I'm very happy here. The attitude here was horrid [before A+]. There was low teacher morale, now its better. Things have gotten better and better. A+ has fit in and made it better. -Teacher

This is the happiest Ive ever been [since becoming a teacher]. -Teacher

There are more opportunities for the kids to demonstrate their strengths and teachers are more open to the variety of ways kids can demonstrate their learning. Teachers know they have permission and expectation to evaluate student knowledge in different ways.   -Principal

Students whove been in our school for the whole time are happy students and engaged students. Students that come in from a different school . . . theyre so used to getting attention for negative behavior. . . you can tell whos been here and who hasnt. . . The ones whove been here can work in a group and can function in cooperative learning. . . I can tell you my discipline referrals have decreased. -Principal

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